Jackie Robinson jersey scores $341,779 in Grey Flannel's Dec. 5 auction Offered with impeccable provenance, a 1951 Jackie Robinson game-used Brooklyn Dodgers home jersey scored $341,779 in Grey Flannel’s Dec. 5 Holiday Auction of sports and celebrity memorabilia.
News-Antique.com - Dec 19,2007 - WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. – In the hearts and imaginations of fans who were bidding, Jackie Robinson led off first, rounded the bases and crossed home plate triumphantly on Dec. 5 as his 1951 game-used home jersey scored $341,779 in Grey Flannel’s 891-lot Holiday Auction. Carrying impeccable provenance and entered in the sale with a $50,000 reserve, the Brooklyn Dodgers flannel jersey featured Robinson’s number “42” on the back, the team name on the front and the chain-stitched name J. Robinson inside its collar.
According to Grey Flannel Auctions’ president, Richard E. Russek, Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) remains one of the most beloved and respected baseball players of all time. “He was the first African-American Major League baseball player of the modern era, played on six World Series teams and won the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award only two years after he joined the Majors.” The son of poor sharecroppers, Robinson “broke the color barrier for black athletes,” Russek continued, “making him not only a baseball hero but also an iconic African-American. It was an honor for us to have been entrusted with the sale of this important jersey.”
The game-used treasures didn’t stop there. A 1994 Seattle Mariners autographed rookie alternate jersey previously used by Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, complete with a Major League Baseball Anniversary sleeve patch and letter of authenticity, had been consigned with a $2,500 reserve. The Yankee slugger’s early jersey representing the year during which he was the youngest of all Major League players drove in a $29,881 auction price.
Stellar results were achieved by player memorabilia from all across the professional sports realm. A 1972/3 Wilt Chamberlain game-used Los Angeles Lakers home jersey realized $27,584; while an early 1970s Bobby Orr game-used Boston Bruins (hockey) road jersey followed closely behind at $25,410.
Inextricably associated with recent negative headlines and a felony conviction, former Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick’s game-used and autographed road uniform in Grey Flannel’s auction may be the last NFL gear Vick will ever wear. Listed in the sale with a $2,500 reserve, it closed at $3,000.
Boxing was represented by a coin-operated amusement from the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair – an International Mutoscope Co. Silver Gloves arcade game. Made in 1948, the upright novelty consisted of two 2-inch “heavyweight” boxing figures pitted against each other in a realistic-looking ring. For 10 cents, a player could manipulate the levers and make his boxer punch at the opponent, knock him down and hopefully win the match. In Grey Flannel’s sale the game attracted a top bid of $9,755 against a reserve of $500.
Surely the most unusual lot auctioned was a 1920s-era bulletproof vest that came from the Florida home of notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. A “dress-style” dark wool vest that weighed a substantial 17 lbs., the garment sold to a crime museum for five times its reserve: $12,806.
As proof that the Marilyn Monroe mystique continues to fascinate, a lock of hair snipped by the platinum-blond film star’s hairdresser, Kenneth Battelle, was in